UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Comets got off to a quick start with a goal just forty seconds into the game, but they could not extend their winning streak Tuesday night vs the Lake Erie Monsters, as they fell 3-2. The Comets were in search of their first three-game winning streak of the season, but fell just short with another one goal loss.
For the first time this year, the Comets failed to record a point after scoring the first goal of the game. Brandon DeFazio and Henrik Tommernes each scored for Utica, which fell to 4-11-1-1 on the season and 1-2-0-0 against Lake Erie. Pascal Pelletier, who recorded an assist on Tommernes’ goal, extended his team leads in helpers to 11. Joacim Eriksson recorded 23 saves in the defeat as he dropped his sixth one goal decision of the season.
The Comets started off the game with a bang as Brandon DeFazio scored just 40 seconds into the first period. Off of a feed from Cal O’Reilly, the winger fired a shot from the right hand circle past Lake Erie’s Sami Aittokallio to give the Comets a 1-0 lead. The goal was the quickest goal scored in Comets franchise history, as he broke Alex Grenier’s record of 70 seconds against the Toronto Marlies on Nov. 4.
It did not take long for the Monsters to equalize, however, as Karl Stollery beat Eriksson just 50 seconds later. The defenseman’s marker was the first goal Eriksson had conceded since the first period against Rochester this past Friday and ended his shutout streak at 113:19, the longest in Comets franchise history to date. Stollery’s goal was unassisted and his third of the season.
Markus Lauridsen put the Monsters in front for the first time at the 12:43 mark as his shot from the point beat a screened Eriksson to make it 2-1. Lauridsen’s goal was his first of the season, off of an assist from Joey Hishon who now has nine points in ten games played.
The Comets evened the score with a power-play marker 9:57 into the second period as Tommernes let go a powerful wrist shot from the left hand circle to beat Aittokallio and even the score at two. Tommernes’ goal, his third of the season, tied him with teammate Patrick Mullen for the team lead amongst blueliners. Pascal Pelletier and Yannick Weber recorded the assists on the play, Weber’s second point in two games as a Comet.
Lake Erie reclaimed the lead with just 8.6 seconds in the period as Matt Hunwick unleashed a snipe from the point that hit off the crossbar and deflected in. J.T. Wyman hit the defenseman with a cross-ice feed, which he converted into a goal, his first in the AHL since Feb. 21, 2008, when he was a member of the Providence Bruins. Bryan Lerg also picked up his team leading seventeenth point on the play with the secondary assist.
Despite some offensive zone time, the Comets amassed only six shots on net in the third period and could not beat Aittokallio again to tie the game. Darren Archibald recorded best chance of the period, after he forced a turnover in the offensive zone and put a backhand shot on net, but the puck deflected off of the Finnish netminder’s mask and out. Archibald also brought the crowd to a roar not long after with a clean and thunderous hit on Stollery in the corner. Utica threatened multiple times afterwards, but to no avail.
The Comets head to Western Canada for a two game series against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday and Saturday, with both games scheduled for a 10:00 p.m. faceoff from the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre. Despite being almost 3,000 miles away form Utica, the Comets are in some extent close to home as Abbotsford is only a short drive away from Vancouver, home of the Comets’ parent club.